Windhoek — The Fifa Normalisation Committee for the Namibia Football Association (NFA) has ordered the Namibia Premier League (NPL) to reinstate demoted Gobabis-based club Young African back into the league until the NFA Appeals Committee has pronounced itself on the club's future.
New Era Sport has it on good authority that the Normalisation Committee last week wrote to the NPL instructing the league to restore the club's rights and allow African to continue being a fully-fledged member of the NPL while the appeal process takes its natural course.
Making strong reference to various articles of the NFA Disciplinary Codes and common law principles, the NFA's letter dated 18 April 2019 to the NPL partly reads: "The common law principle is when an aggrieved party successfully appeals and that party was found guilty during the initial hearing the appellant retains all rights until the appeal hearing is concluded. We hereby inform you to reinstate all the rights of Young African FC until the conclusion of their appeal matter."
NPL's chief executive officer Harald Fulle acknowledged having received the NFA's letter demanding the reinstatement of Young African but said the league was still scrutinising the contents of the letter and will reply when a well-informed decision is taken.
But various football experts who have been closely following the African/NPL saga are of the opinion that the NFA's letter to the league fails to take important provisions of the NFA and NPL Disciplinary Codes into account, especially Article 59, which reads that the NFA Appeals Committee only has power to suspend a monetary fine but has no powers to lift or reverse points deducted as NPL regulations are clear on that.
Furthermore, experts that spoke to this publication yesterday insist that the NFA currently has no NFA Appeals Committee in place and thus the Normalisation Committee has little powers to make decisions on behalf of a non-existing Appeals Committee, which is yet to be appointed by the NFA congress once it takes place.
"My advice is that the Normalisation Committee moves quickly to hold congress that will then pave way for the appointment or establishment of an Appeals Committee that will legitimately hear the case, because as of now, the Normalisation Committee only has powers to act as the NFA executive but unfortunately not take decisions of behalf of congress that is yet to take place," said one expert who refused to be named for fear of reprisals. Meanwhile, at a consultative meeting held at Mariental over the just-ended Easter weekend, the Normalisation Committee informed all its members, namely the NPL, Nationwide First and Second Divisions, that the NFA in consultation with Fifa has resolved that there will be no promotion and relegation of teams in the NPL this season.
It was also resolved that activities in the Nationwide First and Second Divisions will only kick off in the upcoming 2019/20 season and additional clubs will also be added to the NPL - meaning teams in the Nationwide First and Second Divisions will remain dormant for the current season. The 2019/20 season is planned to start in August this year and will run until April next year. The Normalisation Committee also promised that all the funds due to the Nationwide First Divisions will be paid in full by 30 April 2019